Mad Max: Fury Road opens in theaters tomorrow in the United States, and the critical reception that this film has received is absolutely staggering. This morning, the movie played at the Cannes Film Festival to much excitement, and the positive reviews are already stacking up. If you find yourself unaware of the Mad Max movie and the buzz surrounding it, consider this a pep rally of sorts for a film that, for me at least, began the year lumped with other blockbuster sequels (like Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys) but has slowly built itself up to a curiosity with its trailers, and now enjoys the status of full-on must-see.
As of this writing, Mad Max: Fury Road enjoys a 99% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes with 143 reviews. There are not many movies where 99% of the people who watch it end up agreeing, so this is certainly something special. Everyone who sees this movie ends up gushing about it, with most of the criticism focused on some characters being underwritten a bit. But, the action sequences are being lauded as absolutely astounding. The Charlize Theron character is being heralded as the true main character (not Tom Hardy’s Mad Max), and the character arcs and plot points are not also-rans here; the action is break-neck and breath-taking, but the story is equally compelling.
Another important observation from these initial reviews is the contention that this movie succeeds with both fans of the old Mad Max trilogy and movie-goers who have never seen the originals. This is not a movie which relies heavily on the mythos of the previous stories, but instead focuses on how characters react to each other in this world. Hence, if you are not familiar with the world from the originals, you can hit the ground running and not miss a beat. If you were afraid you’d be lost without having experienced the earlier movies, then you can put that fear to bed.
Mad Max: Fury Road is riding a wave of initial positivity towards becoming one of the best films of 2015. The initial buzz has me completely stoked, and two weeks ago I wondered if I even cared enough to see this film in theaters. Now, I lament that I will have to wait through the weekend to see it.